-Who am I?
Hi, I’m Betsy. I’m a 30-something geologist, teacher, mom and wife of a wonderful and supportive husband who sees who I can be and pushes me to live life with abandon. I have many passions, I love learning and exploring this incredible world God’s given us, and I also love to create things, whether it’s with wood, metal, paper or leather. When an idea comes to me I can’t wait to make it. I believe everything happens for a reason and this shop is no exception.
-Why did I start my shop?
I started this shop while getting my Masters in Teaching at Washington State University (Go COUGS!). I needed a break from writing my thesis so I started playing around with things I had lying around in my house. I played around with some leather I had to make a fun bracelet and I burned a fun tree into a cutting board for a friend for a wedding present. My husband could see how much I loved to make things for other people and encouraged me to try selling my creations. Over the next year, what started as a hobby to give me a break from teaching and thesis writing became an honest-to-goodness business. I now work part time as a guest science teacher in our local school district but most of my time is spent right here on A Viking Princess. I am still so amazed that people around the country (and world) are wearing or using something I’ve made. This shop has been such a blessing and I am so grateful to each and every person who purchases something or favorites my items.
-What inspires me?
When it comes to jewelry, I’ve never been one to wear flashy or super trendy items. I’m more of a get-one-item-and-wear-it-with-everything girl. I also love taking something with a specific purpose and using it in an unexpected way.
For outdoor gear, I wanted to make things that are simple and hard working. The way I make my items ensures a quality product while keeping production time low enough that I can offer affordable prices. I don't like it when I buy something that's so expensive I never want to actually use it or cringe if it falls in the dirt. Or in the case of sheaths, if they're more expensive than the actual thing they're protecting! I love that I the products I design are beautiful/rugged but still affordable enough to be used for what they were made to do!
-What’s with the name?
A Viking Princess seems to be an odd choice for a name. After all, most of the items I sell are leather and my logo is an anchor. The story behind the name starts in the San Juan Islands, on a little island only accessible by private boat. I was very fortunate to grow up very close to my grandparents and spent every summer of my life at their cabin on that island. My Grandfather had a little Nordic Tug he named after my grandmother. When I was young he told me she was descended from Icelandic Vikings so in her honor, the little tug was crowned The Viking Princess. Later in life he told me he really had two Viking Princesses in his life, my grandmother, and me. My grandfather was a very kind and loving man and he has always been a great influence in my life. So, when it came time to pick a name for my shop, I couldn’t think of anything better than A Viking Princess.